A visual approach to demonstrate groundwater flow processes

Margaret Shanafield, Anthony W. Papageorgiou, John W. Arkwright

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Explaining groundwater flow and groundwater monitoring infrastructure to nonhydrogeologists can be a challenge. This is true even in the field, because it is not possible to see into the aquifer, where the flow occurs. Therefore, simple visual displays in the laboratory can be very useful for showing how water and solutes move through porous media, how flow changes under different gradients, and what happens when physical and chemical changes are forced through access tubes at the surface. Sandtank set‐ups have long been recognized as an accepted method for elucidating key concepts in hydrogeology (Rau, Andersen, & Acworth, 2012; Rotz & Milewski, 2019; Silliman, Konikow, & Voss, 1987). Using this medium, the goal of this project was to develop a simple sandtank display to show industry (including energy producers, mining, and primary industry) representatives how the movement of heat and solutes can be monitored with in‐line sensors for a variety of environmental conditions and over long time scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3236-3238
Number of pages3
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Archived by Flinders University. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Shanafield, M., Papageorgiou, A. W., & Arkwright, J. W. (2019). A visual approach to demonstrate groundwater flow processes. Hydrological Processes, 33(25), 3236–3238. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13559Copyright © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • groundwater flow
  • elucidating key concepts
  • in‐line sensors
  • environmental conditions


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